With so many titles to choose from, Netflix Instant's library can be overwhelming. So we bring you this biweekly column as a tool to cut through the clutter by highlighting some now streaming titles that pair well with the latest theatrical releases.
Looking to Pacific Rim, V/H/S/2, and R.I.P.D. for inspiration, we've pulled together a selection of out of this world science-fiction, creepy contemporary horror, and outrageous action comedies.
In a not-so-distant future, mankind is forced to wage a war against a mighty threat risen from the deeps of the Pacific Ocean. When massive extraterrestrial monsters wreak havoc on the shore, we respond with gigantic robots that could battle them back to the rift they came from! Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, and Charlie Day star; Guillermo del Toro directs. (Read our full review here.)
Space the final frontier is full of mystery, and potentially full of the greatest terrors mankind will ever know. Revel in the awesomeness of all of this with three action-packed movies with fearsome alien invaders at their center.
The Avengers (2012) Celebrate summer by revisiting the biggest hit of last summer! This superhero ensemble brought together Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, The Hulk, and Iron Man for a live-action adventure that culminates in an epic New York City-set battle with a battalion of other worldly baddies led by the nefarious Loki. Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, and Scarlett Johansson; Joss Whedon directs.
Monsters (2010) For a space invaders story that's a little subtler, check out this standout indie set six years after a space probe crash in Mexico leads to an outbreak of giant multi-limbed beasts. This has forced the US to shut down the borders to keep out a different kind of alien. In this setting, a snarky American photojournalist (Scoot McNairy) is sent to rescue his affluent employer's AWOL daughter (Whitney Able). Together they have to make their way North while skirting the attention of the authorities and these giant extraterrestrials. Gareth Edwards-- who is helming the upcoming remake of Godzilla-- directs.
Super 8 (2011) Set in 1979, this Amblin-inspired adventure centers on six kids trying to make their own monster movie when they get entangled in a government cover-up. When a lost alien escapes the bonds of the government, one small town will pay big…unless a teen filmmaker can save the day. Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, and Kyle Chandler co-stars; J.J. Abrams directs.
This horror anthology sequel to V/H/S begins with a pair of private eyes in search of a missing young man stumble across a hypnotic bunch of creepy video tapes, each with a story more deranged than the last. Lawrence Michael Levine, Kelsy Abbott, and Adam Wingard co-star; Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sánchez, Timo Tjahjanto, and Adam Wingard direct. (Read our full review here.)
For more horror from the V/H/S/2 filmmakers, check out this trio of freaky features. No matter if you like tales of serial killers, monsters, or hobos packing heat, you'll be darkly delighted by this line-up.
The ABCs of Death (2012) This anthology gives a new twist to terror, offering a spooky short for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet, each directed by a different filmmaker. A is for Apocalypse. B is for Bigfoot. C is for…you get the idea. You won't believe the scary tales these directors came up with a single letter for inspiration. Timo Tjahjanto, Simon Barrett, Ti West, Ben Wheatley, and Adam Wingard direct.
A Horrible Way to Die (2010) Adam Wingard directs this slasher that made its world premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival before taking honors at Fantastic Fest. AJ Bowen stars as a serial killer who escapes the cops of rural Missouri to track down his ex-girlfriend. While she tries to put her life back together, he's on her scent. And the closer he gets the higher the body count gets. Amy Seimetz and Joe Swanberg co-star.
Hobo with a Shotgun (2011) Jason Eisener, who helms V/H/S/2's slumber party vignette, directs this willfully over-the-top grindhouse homage. Rutger Hauer stars as the titular hobo who uses the titular weapon as his tool to battle a drug lord whose made his chosen city into a violence-ridden hell hole. Pasha Ebrahimi and Robb Wells co-star.
In what looks like Men in Black meets Dead Like Me, a recently killed cop discovers there is an afterlife and those who refuse to play by its rules. Rule breakers answer to the Rest in Peace Department, an authority that makes him as their newest badge in the fight against the evil Deados. Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, and Kevin Bacon co-star; Robert Schwentke directs. (Read our full review here.)
Yeah, the plotline sounds totally bonkers. But would like anything else from a summer action comedy? How about some solid laughs and a cast with plenty of swagger? If so, we've got some pics that should please!
Mystery Men (1999) Imagine a world where not all superheros are created equal. Some are amazing, but others have very specific talents. They shovel better than any man you've ever known. They can turn invisible!...if no one is looking. Or maybe they are fantastically gifted at targeting their farts. These are just some of the talents of the Mystery Men, Champion City's last hope against a mad man called Cassanova Frankenstein. Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, William H. Macy, Janeane Garofalo, Paul Reubens, and Geoffrey Rush co-star; Kinka Usher directs.
Shaolin Soccer (2001) Writer/director/actor Stephen Chow spun his love of martial arts movies into a wonderfully outlandish parody that centers on a soccer match like the world has never seen before! When a washed up soccer player meets a monk looking to inspire the masses with the power and wonder of his unique form of martial arts, it proves the beginning of unlikely revenge and life-changing adventure. Man Tat Ng, Wei Zhao, and Yin Tse co-star. Chow directs.
Beverly Hills Cop (1984) Just reading the name of this movie, you can probably hear its jaunty theme playing in your head. Eddie Murphy stars as big mouthed Detroit cop Axel Foley who chases down his friends killer to the sunny streets of Beverly Hills. He's a fish out of water. He's in over his head. And he's laughing all the way. Judge Reinhold and John Ashton co-star; Martin Brest directs.